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Crisis Checks and Other Aid: What Republicans Offer and What Democrats Offer

In March, Congress approved an allocation of roughly $ 2,5 trillion to bail out the United States economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic. And it doesn't seem like it will be enough. Republicans and Democrats are trying to agree on the terms of anti-crisis assistance. What exactly they propose to do, the newspaper writes USA Today.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Democratic House passed a law called the HEROES Act worth about $ 3,4 trillion. It will provide income-starved states and local governments with nearly $ 1 trillion in housing and food aid.

The Republican-controlled Senate has submitted its counter-proposal. The HEALS Act, a $ 1,1 trillion package that includes direct payments to Americans but does not provide federal housing, food, or state and local government assistance. These bills have not yet been adopted.

Here are some of the main similarities and differences between the two sentences.

Employment assistance

The Democratic Party bill proposes to extend the current supplemental unemployment benefit of $ 600 per week (which ends on July 31) until December.

The Republican plan proposes to cut this amount to $ 200 and pay until September, then cap the maximum benefit (state and federal combined) to 70% of the applicant's salary.

Direct payments

Both bills propose to provide millions of Americans with another incentive check according to the same rules as under the CARES Act: $ 1200 for individuals earning up to $ 75 thousand (gradually moving to $ 99 thousand); and $ 2400 for married couples earning up to $ 150 thousand (gradually moving to $ 198 thousand).

The Democratic bill offers more generous support for dependents: $ 1200 for each dependent, compared to $ 500 for each dependent under the Republican proposal.

Helping states and cities

Democrats are offering nearly $ 1 trillion in direct aid to states, counties and cities whose budgets have been cut by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican bill does not provide for such assistance, although it does provide states and local governments with greater flexibility in using the assistance provided in earlier incentive bills.

Housing assistance

The Democrats' proposal calls for an estimated $ 200 billion in aid to help tenants and homeowners affected by the coronavirus and to prevent evictions.

The Republican bill does not provide for such assistance.

Reopening of schools

Democrats are committing about $ 60 billion to reopen schools, up from the $ 70 billion proposed in the Republican bill.

Both Democrats and Republicans have set aside about $ 30 billion in college aid. But the Democratic bill says nearly $ 1 trillion in aid to state and local governments could be used for education. And the Republican bill says that part of the financial support for education should go to help reopen private schools.

Medical care and testing for COVID-19

Democrats are proposing to allocate about $ 380 billion to fight the coronavirus, in particular: $ 100 billion to reimburse the costs of the pandemic to hospitals and medical workers; another $ 98 billion to help laid-off workers pay for health insurance they lost.

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The Republican plan provides for an amount of $ 111 billion, most of which is intended to help federal agencies and private companies develop vaccines and therapies ($ 50 billion) and to help healthcare workers with expenses ($ 25 billion).

Democrats propose to allocate $ 75 billion for testing and tracing contacts, Republicans - $ 16 billion.

Business assistance and other priorities

Democrats are providing $ 290 billion in business aid, mostly in the form of tax breaks for companies that keep employees on state, as well as tax breaks for expenses related to the pandemic.

The Democratic Plan also includes a number of other priorities, including $ 190 billion in hazard pay for key workers nationwide, $ 35 billion in food support for poor families, and $ 3,6 billion in helping states conduct local elections in November.

The GOP proposal does not include funds for these purposes, but provides $ 158 billion in grants and loans to help small businesses.

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